Let Your Inner Child Guide You to Passion

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How long does it take you to shift from your adult, serious, side to your playful, inner child mode?More and more I’m discovering that one of the most powerful tools for personal growth and success is my ability to embrace and engage my playful, inner child space quickly and consistently.

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I don’t know about you, but I can be awfully serious a lot of the time. And even when I consciously give myself permission to let go of that seriousness, it can take a bit of coaxing to relax down into the playful, spontaneous, childlike space that is so natural and yet can be so difficult to hold.

But it’s that space, that vibration of spontaneous creativity that allows us to tap into the infinite possibilities of the Universe. It is that energy of playfulness and joy that fuels the inspired actions that allow us to attract our deepest desires.

But most of us are almost completely disconnected from that creative energy.

And, while I’m a pretty fun guy (no not a mushroom!) and love to play, this weekend I got to experience just  how long it takes me to REALLY drop down fully into that playful, creative, childlike vibration.

My daughter and I went camping this weekend with a few other families from her kindergarten class. We spent the weekend playing in the dunes north of Bodega Bay and I can trace the “downshifts” that moved me out of my serious, adult mind and into the playful, spontaneous, childlike vibration.

When we first arrived I was, of course, all business: Where are we camping? Where’s the best tent site? Set up the tent. Unpack the car… etc. It’s pretty amazing how my Virgo nature comes out, big time, when I first roll into a campground!

Fortunately, some other families were heading down to the beach just as we arrived and Ella tagged along with them while I got our campsite set up.
My first downshift came when I walked to the beach after setting up our site. All the way down to the beach I was in “Go” mode, walking fast and feeling like I was “supposed” to get down there to play with Ella. But the moment I walked across the boardwalk bridge and stood at the top of the dune looking down on the ocean and the beach and felt the wind coming off the water, I felt the first downshift.It’s quite difficult to stay in “go” mode when you’re at the beach. There is something hypnotic and mesmerizing about the ocean, and only the most die-hard do-ers can resist the ocean’s invitation to drop into a more relaxed vibration.

And the best part is that this invitation is available all the time: You don’t have to actually be at the ocean to access it.

Take a moment, right now, to imagine the sound of the waves, the smell of the salty air, the feel of the moisture on your face as the ocean wind swirls it around you. Take a deep breath and let yourself accept the invitation to downshift your vibration and come into resonance with the energy of the ocean.

Imagination is such a powerful tool for manifesting the life of your dreams. And you can improve your imagination just by using it! Take time to imagine that you are at the ocean, or the mountains, or the forest or wherever you feel most energized and connected!

My next downshift came after dinner. The kids were playing a game where the beautiful, exposed roots of an old pine tree growing out of the dunes was the “jail” and the roots of a smaller tree across the dunes was the “base” where you could “escape” to.

At first, just the children were playing while the adults sat, in the “jail” and talked about adult things. But, one by one, the fathers started joining in. You could see them get a little twinkle in their eyes… thinking about it, catching some of that contagious, playful, childlike energy. And then, suddenly, as they let go of their concerns about what they might look like or whether it was “ok” to play with the kids, they would burst out of the “jail” with a shout of joy as a pack of kids started chasing them around the dunes.

beach-fun-1Soon almost all of the “dada’s” were running around the dunes, acting like children, letting our playful, inner beings come out. And, quite honestly, I think the dads were having more fun than the kids! It happens that way. Kids play all the time. It’s their natural state. Dads… not so much! So when we do get out of our serious, responsible, mode the fun that’s been stuck inside starts coming out… big time!

Now, in addition to being a second downshift for me, when I jumped in and started running around the sand like a crazy, escapee, that game in the dunes really shifted the energy for our entire group. You could feel the group energy relax into playfulness. It was like a big sigh of relief as we let go of our collective responsibilities and allowed  ourselves to drop into the playful spontaneity of the present moment.

And that, of course, that led us all back over to the campfire for S’mores. And, it’s pretty hard to be serious while you’re making s’mores! Well, unless you get into a serious discussion of the BEST way to make them… You know, do you let the marshmallow catch on fire and then blow it out, or do you hold it just above the burn zone so that it  gets lightly browned? Do you melt the chocolate or let the toasted marshmallow do the melting? And this time we had a new twist added to the mix: Someone brought a jar of Nutella which… while not traditional, certainly did make a very good s’more when spread on the graham cracker in place of the chocolate bar!

The final downshift came after s’mores when we broke out our instruments and started playing music around the campfire. It brought me back to my days at summer camp on Cape Cod. There is something so universally appealing about playing music around a campfire. The crackling fire, the sparks, or “fire fairies” as Ella calls them, the soft glowing light on the faces, and the music filling the camp, rising up to the sky like an offering of joy and love.

And, as with the ocean, this energy is available to you all the time. You don’t have to wait until you’re at a campfire. Take a deep breath in and imagine the fire. Imagine the flames dancing and crackling. See the “fire fairies” as they rise up and dance in the smoke. Smell the smoke. And yes, even feel the smoke burning your eyes a little. And connect with the energy of the fire. That fire energy lives inside of you.

Connect with it. Feel it. Embrace it. Let it come out to play. Let it fuel your actions. That fire is the inspiration that empowers your actions. When you take actions that are fueled by your fire you accelerate the manifestation process.

Action without inspiration is like a lighter without fluid: You might get a few sparks, but no matter how often or how vigorously you click that button, you’re not going to get a flame.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

There is so much power in connecting with our childlike nature (not childish, childlike!). Yet we often allow our thoughts of how we “should” to act and who we are “supposed to” be get in the way and hold us back from connecting with that vibration.

Taking time, each day to consciously, actively, let that “inner child” come out to play can provide tremendous fuel and inspiration as you manifest your deepest desires!

TAKE ACTION:

This week, let your inner child come out to play. Do something that is absolutely NOT on the agenda of your adult, serious, responsible self. Indulge the playful, spontaneous, fiery, mischievous little one inside of you.

PS. One way to embrace that playful, spontaneous, fiery, mischievous little one inside of you is by amping up your passion. And the two people who can help you do that better than anyone else I can think of are Janet and Chris Attwood. Write now they’ve got some GREAT free content up for grabs as part of their Passionate Life Secrets program. You can check out the program and access the free content here:
==> Passionate Life Secrets.

Are You Ready to Step Out of The Fear and Into the Fun?

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Roller-CoasterYou know those butterflies you get in your stomach when you go over a hill while you’re driving, or swinging really high at the playground, or zooming down the big hill on a roller coaster? My daughter and I call them “Whoop-dee-doops.” As we’re driving, she’ll say, “Dada, I got a whoop-dee-doop.” And I’ll say “Me too. That was a good one!” “Uh huh!” She replies. Well, I don’t know about you, but this economic roller coaster ride we’re on is giving me lots of whoop-dee-doops! And, while I’ll admit that they don’t all feel great, I’m mostly enjoying the ride and having a really fun time with so many opportunities for growth and expansion. You see, it really is like a roller coaster ride. When you wait in line, give the attendant your ticket and climb into that car, you know you’re not going to climb out right when it gets to the top of that first big uphill. Nope, you’re going to get that thrill and that whoop-dee-doop on the way down. We’re in a similar situation right now in our lives. We’ve waited in line, gotten into the car, made it to the top of that first big hill and now we’re on the way down. Too late to jump out! So we might as well enjoy the ride. I mean, we’re on it anyway! And that’s just what I’m doing! And this Thursday, I’d love to share a few of the Energetic tools that I’m using to stay out of the fear that is swirling all around us and open up to the thrill and excitement of the ride. From 5:30pm – 6:30pm (Pacific Time) this Thursday, I’m offering a free teleclass where you will learn some simple energetic techniques to help you thrive in this environment of fear and chaos. I’ll show you how to enjoy the whoop-dee-doops. In addition to learning why this time in our history is such an amazing opportunity for Deliberate Creators to thrive, you’ll learn 3 very specific energetic techniques to help you take advantage of this opportunity:

  • A very simple breathing technique to help you release fear and connect with joy.
  • An easy 5-minute energy cleansing tool you can use morning and evening to keep your personal energy space clear.
  • A grounding technique you can use anywhere, anytime to calm and soothe any frenetic, fear-based, energy in your space.

If you are looking for some support and guidance on how to effectively navigate these turbulent times, you’ll want to be on this call. Space is limited on this call, so to guarantee your spot, use the link below to register. I look forward to speaking with you on Thursday and enjoying a whoop-dee-doop or two! To your greatness. Ed

7 Ways To Get A Positive Start On The Day

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How do you start your day? Is your first act intentional? Is it a reaction to something? Or is your first act of each completely random?

As a Deliberate Creator, every conscious act matters. And one way to get every day off to a great start is to make your first act of the day intentional. So here are a few suggestions that you might want to consider for your first conscious action of the day.

Smile: You’ll be amazed at how powerful that one act can be at setting the tone for your day. Do it no matter how tired you are, no matter how little sleep you got, no matter how much you’re dreading some aspect of your day. Smile. I love this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh: “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” When you think of something that brings you joy, a smile is likely to come naturally. Remember that a smile can brighten a person’s day. And if you wake up with a smile, it just might be your day that gets brighter.

Think of something joyful: Maybe you feel strange putting a smile on your face for no reason. (If you do, stop it!) But one alternative is to think of something that brings you joy and let that thought bring a smile to your face.

Think of your primary intention: What is the single most important intention that you have right now? How would your day change if your first thought upon arising was a positive thought about that intention?

Look at your primary intention: Remember Jack Canfield’s story in The Secret? He taped a “$100,000 bill” to the ceiling above his bed so the first thing he would see every morning would remind him of his primary intention. You can do something similar. Come up with an image, object or phrase that reminds you of your intention and tape it to the ceiling or place it beside your bed. And each morning, make sure your first act is looking at it and feeling it.

Send a positive thought to someone else: Sending a prayer or other positive thought to someone is a wonderful way to start your day. In order to send positive vibes to someone else, your vibration must be positive. So starting your day this way ensures that your vibration will start out positive.

Give thanks for what you have: One of the best ways to empower your day is to begin with gratitude. Instead of allowing your mind to jump to all the stuff you have to get done that day, intentionally guide your mind to focus on and express gratitude for all the wonderful things that you already have.

Say I love you: If you share a bed with a partner (and even if you don’t) one great way to set a positive tone for your day is to say “I love you” to them (or someone else) before you even get out of bed.

These are just a few suggestions. Any one of them will help you set a positive tone for the entire day… If you do it!

The Vision Board 2008 Invitational

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Are you up for a challenge? Do you want to get 2008 off to an intentional start? If so, I want to invite you to participate in the 2008 Vision Board Invitational. Last year’s Vision Board meeting at the January drop in Law of Attraction group – a group I host on the first Saturday of each month – was such a success that we’re doing it again.

But this year, I want you to join us, even if you can’t get to Santa Rosa on Saturday. If you do join us, not only will you start 2008 with a powerful burst of inspired action, but you also get a chance to share you vision with the world and you could win a fantastic prize! Read on to find out more. Whatever you think about the Law of Attraction and the ideas in the movie The Secret, there is one point that you just can’t argue with: Setting intentions works!

You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want. But intention setting, on its own, is not enough. You need continuous focus on your intentions as well as inspired, focused action. And one of the best ways to stay focused on your intentions is to create visual reminders. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind author, T. Harv Ecker, frequently tells his students that, “Visual is memorable.” And Vision Boards are one of the most powerful tools I know of for creating continuous, visual focus on your positive intentions. And there’s even a dash of inspired action thrown into the process of creating a vision board.

Now if you’ve never created one, a Vision Board is a collage or other collection of images, words and phrases created and used to facilitate the manifestation of desires. But don’t let the simplicity fool you. Vision Boards are one of the most powerful tools in the deliberate creator’s toolbox.

When you create a vision board you are doing three things that immediately put you ahead of 95% of the people who set resolutions:

  • When you create a Vision Board you are taking Inspired Action.
  • When you create a Vision Board you clarify and focus your desires.
  • When you create a Vision Board (and place it where you see it often) you have an on-going, visual reminder of your intentions.

The process of creating a Vision Board is straightforward:

  • Gather the supplies – board, glue, scissors, magazines, catalogs, markers, etc.
  • Clarify your desires.
  • Cut out images that represent those desires..
  • Glue them onto your board.
  • Place the board somewhere you will see it on a daily basis.

But while the process is simple, taking the action to do it is not always easy! I’ve seen far too many people say they were going to create a New Year’s Vision Board only to find that weeks and months into the New Year they still had not done so. If you’ve ever struggled to complete an “optional” project on your own, you know just what I’m talking about.

This year, I want to help to stack the deck in your favor and hopefully make it a bit easier for you to complete your New Year’s Vision Board Monday, January 14th and get 2008 off to a deliberate, positive start! So I’ve come up with a few incentives and some tips. First the incentives:

  • Share your vision with the world: Sure it’s great to create a vision board and hang it on your wall. But there is something empowering about sharing your vision. By sharing your vision you declare your intention to the world. You put your flag in the sand. So to help you share your vision with the world, on Tuesday, January 15th, I will post an entry here with a link every vision board that is completed by January 14th. (You’ll have to send me the link of course). You can post the photo of your Vision Board on your blog or website, or put it up at a photo sharing site such as Flickr.com. I’ll also feature images of a few of my favorite boards along with the link.
  • Win some great prizes: Everyone who submits a completed Vision Board by January 14th will receive access to the online version of my CD, An Introduction to Brainwave Entrainment Technology for Personal Growth and Success. If you haven’t experienced Brainwave Entrainment, you are missing out on a powerful personal growth tool.In addition, three winners will receive a $40 prize package that includes the physical CD listed above as well as the inspiring, award winning anthology, Healing the Heart of the World, which includes my essay, The Evolutionary Warrior, along with essays from Caroline Myss, Neale Donald Walsch, Bruce Lipton and many others.

I’m also working on a grand prize that I can’t announce quite yet. But if it comes through, it will provide the winner with an amazing tool for following up on their intentions. Now here are some tips to help you create your Vision Board:

  • Set a date and invite some friends and family members to join you. One of the reasons that last year’s Vision Board event at the drop in Law of Attraction group was so successful is because 35 Deliberate Creators came together to co-create their reality for 2007. When a group comes together, and focuses their collective energy on a single goal energy of the entire group is raised. So even just two people coming together can significantly raise the energy.And with a group you can also pool your resources – glue sticks, scissors, magazines, etc. And finally, when you commit to a date with others, you’re much more likely to “show up” and complete your Vision Board.
  • If you are going to create your Vision Board on your own, set a firm date and time. Go do it right now: Get out your calendar and block out 3-hours. That should be plenty of time to create your New Year’s Vision Board. And once you put that time into your calendar make it non-negotiable!
  • Keep your focus narrow. Don’t try to do too much with your Vision Board. Focus on just your top 3-5 intentions. Or create a board for just one area of your life – work, money, relationship, etc. If you try to do too much on one board, you’ll dilute the effectiveness. You can always do another board when you have attracted the intentions in this one or create another board for another area of your life.
  • Set a definite ending time. Creating a Vision Board is one of those projects with the potential to move into the continual “work in progress” category. And, in truth, a vision board is always a work in progress because you vision is always evolving. However, you definitely do want to complete your Vision Board. So set a firm deadline and make a commitment to yourself to finish your board by that time.
  • Let your board be “Not Perfect.” Start with the knowledge that your Vision Board will never be perfect. That way you’ll be more likely to sit down and finish it. And finishing it is far more important than making it “perfect.” whatever that means. This is also a good exercise in getting over any perfectionist tendencies you might have!

Participation Details: To participate in the 2008 Vision Board Invitational, all you have to do is complete your 2008 Vision Board by Monday, January 14th and use the contact form above to send me the link to your Vision Board. If you have a blog or website, you can post your Vision Board there and I’ll link to it from Evolving Times.

If you don’t have a website, you can use an online photo-sharing site such as Flickr, Photobucket. I’m looking forward to seeing all of your grand visions! If you have questions, you can leave a comment below and I’ll answer them as fast as I can.

And if you think this is a good idea, you can help me get the word out by sharing this entry using one of the social bookmarking links below. If you’re new to social bookmarking a good place to start is with a Thumb’s Up on Stumbleupon.

The Holiday Anti-Stress Guide: 19 Tips For A Relaxing Holiday Season

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So here we are in the season of joy, but let’s face it, for many people, it should be called the season of stress. Shopping, parties, shopping, wrapping, traveling, cooking, eating, decorating, oh and did I mention shopping? They all add up to stress. At least they can if we let them.

It’s quite possible to have a stress-free, joy-filled holiday season, at least in theory. It really just takes a little bit of awareness and a just a bit of will power.

So if you want to wake up on January 1st feeling rested, and relaxed rather than run over by a Mac truck, take a look at these 19 simple tips for having a low stress holiday season.

1. Communicate early and often:

With all the added responsibilities and time drains during this season, communication with family and friends can take a hit. Have you ever had a conversation like this?

“What are you going to wear to the party tomorrow night?”
“What party?”

Or how about this one?

“Honey, do you remember what time Mike and Shannon are coming over tonight?”
“Tonight? What?!?”

Can you say stress?

Clear communication is always important, but especially so during this busy time. What parties have you been invited to? What parties are you going to? What parties are you declining? How much will you spend on gifts for family members? (Another big stress point is when a couple’s gift spending is way out of balance. You know, he gets her an emerald necklace, she gets him a necktie!)

Set up regular times to meet and talk about these issues. Set up a board for messages and notes. Set up a special holiday calendar noting parties, when guests are coming and travel plans.

2. Eat well:

At this time of year, it’s easy to fall into bad eating patterns. Temptaton is everywhere! Between the candy that started showing up in your office after Halloween and the Thanksgiving desserts to all the sweets you’ll find at your holiday parties, you’re likely to pack in a log of extra sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods. All of these add to the stress on your body which, in turn, makes it more difficult for you to deal with any mental and emotional stress. So before you grab that fourth eggnog or that second piece of fruitcake, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you really need it..

3. Shop early:

Well I guess it’s too late for this one. But there’s always next year! Of course, if you were planning to do your shopping on Christmas Eve, you may still get some benefit from this tip!

4. Shop locally:

On Friday evening, my daughter and I did some of our holiday shopping. Instead of driving to a mall, sitting in traffic, jockeying for a parking space and waiting in long lines, we walked to town, wandered around the local shops, listened to some wonderful street performers playing holiday songs, and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Even if you can’t walk to your local town, there is probably an alternative to the mall nearby which often makes for a much more pleasant shopping experience.

5. Shop online:

I love to support my local shops and do so as much as possible. But I’ll be the first to admit that online shopping is perhaps the ultimate anti-stress method for shopping. Books, electronics, CDs, games, you name it. It’s all available. Plus you don’t have to worry about bringing your packages to the post office. And many online shops will even wrap your gifts for you. Can you say, “Ahhhh?”

6. Delegate:

You can’t do it alone. If you’re attempting to do all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, decorating and shipping all by yourself, you’re screwed. If you’re in a relationship or part of a family unit, this is where that clear communication comes in. Delegate! Get clear on what you’re going to do, what your partner will do, and what the kids will do. Make it clear that if they don’t do the tasks assigned to them, they’re not going to get done!

If you’re not in a relationship, fear not, this is where friends come in handy. Do your shopping together, have a wrapping party, share cooking duties. You can combine your tasks to increase efficiency, or you can just do your stuff together to make it more fun. Either way, it’s far less stressful than doing it alone.

7. Take time to relax:

If you think I’m nuts to suggest taking time to relax during this season, this tip is most definitely for you! It doesn’t have to be much: treat yourself to a 15-minute chair massage at the mall or market. Take a warm bath. Spend some time reading a mindless book. Close your eyes and meditate for a few minutes. Find time each day – even if it’s just 5-minutes – to unwind and bring yourself down from the fast pace of the world around you.

8. Get enough sleep:

At this time of year, burning the candle at both ends becomes the norm for many people. When you are sleep deprived, the effects of stress become much more noticeable. So during this holiday season, see if you can resist the temptation to stay up until midnight wrapping presents and checking your email.

9. Manage your time wisely:

In order to ensure a good night’s sleep you need to manage your time wisely. During the rest of the year, it’s possible to slack off a bit with time management and still get by. If we waste 20-minutes driving to an out of the way store for something we don’t really need it’s usually not a big deal.

The free online system, Simpleology 101, is a great tool for managing and tracking your tasks. It’s the system I use all year around, and it really gets a workout this time of year.

10. Set clear boundaries at work:

Whether you work for a company or for yourself, it’s important to set clear guidelines boundaries. How late are you going to work? What days are you taking off during the holiday season? Mark those times and dates in your calendar (USE BIG BOLD MARKERS!) and stick to it. If you’re taking off the week between Christmas and New Year, take it off, don’t “sort of” take it off. There’s nothing more stressful for you or your family than to feel pulled towards your computer when you’re supposed to be enjoying family time.

11. Be willing to say “no:”

How many holiday parties will you attend this year? How many events will you volunteer for? Remember it’s ok to say no. The urge to “do it all” and see everyone is strong. But it’s also stressful. At this time of year most people have multiple parties to go to on any given night. So they get it if you have to say no. Do yourself a favor: Enjoy one party fully, rather than driving around to three different events.

12. Consider going to just one family gathering:

Let’s face it, family gatherings can be fun and festive and filled with joy, or they can be boring, emotional and filled with stress. Either way, one is often quite enough. When you add in marriage, divorce, remarriage, and divorced parents, there is the potential for Christmas Eve and Day to a celebration of driving rather than a joyous time to connect with loved ones. As hard as it may be for you to believe, it is ok to tell your family that you won’t be visiting them this year.

13. Set a holiday budget:

One of the most stressful aspects of the holiday season for many people is the spending. Between buying gifts, traveling to see family, getting a tree and new decorations, the holiday season can be expensive. Without a a clear budget, it’s very easy to wake up to a bunch of credit card bills in January that are far worse than your hangover! Sit down with your family before the holidays (it’s not too late to do this now) and be honest about how much you want to spend and how much you can spend and how much you WILL spend. Feel free to tell your friends and family that you’ll be giving hand-made or inexpensive gifts this year.

If you’re looking for some inexpensive alternatives to the “usual” gifts, check out this post on inexpensive gifts that improve your life.

14. Exercise:

Running from store to store, brawling with other customers over the last Wii, and those 12-ounce curls while you’re watching the parade don’t count! Dancing at your office holiday party (if you really get down and funky) might count! Exercise is one of the best ways to release the stress. This is no time to indulge that inner couch potato. When you move your body the built up stress has a way to leave your body. And that’s good! So get to the gym or the yoga studio. Hop on that stationary bike or put on your snowshoes and get outside. But whatever you do, move your body on a regular basis.

15. Listen to Christmas songs (unless they really irritate you!):

I find Christmas songs very relaxing and fun and often funny. So at this time of year, when I’m stuck in holiday traffic, I surf the radio for some good holiday songs to sing along with. My wife, on the other hand, finds them extremely annoying most of the time. So this technique wouldn’t work for her! Use your best judgment.

16. Smile:

It’s the season of joy. Show it! When you’re out shopping, smile at people you see. Give a big smile to the cashier – believe me, they will appreciate it. And the best part is that your smile will make you feel better. Try it!

17. Breathe:

Sure, you’re breathing all the time. You’re breathing right now, I hope. It’s not like you’re going to stop breathing while you’re out there doing a marathon shopping spree. Well, you might actually. Not completely of course, but when we get stressed out our breathing gets faster, and shallower and we don’t get nearly as much oxygen as we need. So, when you find yourself stuck in traffic or waiting in the slowest line (again) or looking at a maxed out credit card bill, take a moment to remember to breathe and feel that extra oxygen working its relaxing magic on your body and mind.

18. Be nice:

I can’t think of anything more stressful than watching two grown adults fighting over a toy or arguing about who is first in line. Well maybe being one of those adults fighting over the toy would be more stressful. At this time of year, niceness goes a long way. When you’re checking out, ask the cashier how she’s doing, and really be interested in her answer. Give the waiter an extra tip, even if he didn’t do such a great job. Let the other person have that parking spot, even if you saw it first. Little things like this go a long way to bringing true joy to this season. And after all isn’t that what it’s all about?

And finally…

19. Remember what this season is really about:

It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the holiday season. But what is this time of year really about for you? It doesn’t matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, take time to think about and remember what this season means to you. Shopping and gift-giving and parties and merry-making are all great. But when that’s all there is, it’s easy for stress to find it’s way into your life. When you remember what the holiday season means for you – whether it’s joy, compassion, peace, generosity, faith, love, or anything else – there is a calmness that descends upon you and helps you move through this stressful time with a feeling of peace.

So enjoy this holiday season. And if any of these tips help you get through it with less stress, I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below. And also leave other stress-reducing tips that you use during this season.

Image Credits:

Grumpy Holiday Girl – Rosemarie Gearhart at iStockphoto.com
Holiday Massage – The Naked Photographer.
Peace on Earth – Lisa Norwood.

When In Doubt Do Something

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When in Doubt,
Do Something.
– Harry Chapin

I’ve written before about the importance of Action in the Law of Attraction. But because we talk so much about Inspired Action many people seem to have a hard time knowing where to start when they don’t necessarily feel inspired.

So the question often comes up, “How do I show the Universe what I want when I don’t know where to start? Don’t I need the inspiration to begin.”

Short answer: No.

Along the path of manifestation there will be many moments when, in order to see your your intention through to completion that you need to act even though you’re not feeling particularly inspired.

I sometimes get the feeling that many people are waiting for the lightning bolt to come from the Universe letting them know that “THIS IS IT!”

Well I don’t think it happens that way. It certainly hasn’t happened that way for me.

In my experience true, sustainable inspiration doesn’t come from the Universe but rather from within you. And the best way I have discovered to awaken my inspiration is through action.

I’ve shared this quote from Tich Nahct Hahn with you before. He said:

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

You could very easily replace smile and joy with inspiration and action:

Sometimes your inspiration is the source of your action, but sometimes your action can be the source of your inspiration.

As Harry Chapin said, in the quote above, “When in doubt, Do something!”

If you’re not feeling inspired, take action, any action, and allow that action to kindle the flame of inspiration within you.

If you wait for the inspiration to return, you may find yourself waiting for a long time!

But if you start moving, you’ll begin to find your inspiration bubbling up and out. And when that happens, you become an inspiration for others! You begin to uplift those around you. And that is what the Law of Attraction is all about!

So what action are you going to take today?

Law of Attraction Carnival #23: Joy

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Welcome to the July 24, 2007 edition of the Law of Attraction Blog Carnival, the longest running blog carnival devoted to the exploration of the Law of Attraction and its powerful applications in daily life.

Next month is the one-year anniversary of the Law of Attraction Carnival! It’s hard to believe that this has been happening for almost a year.

To celebrate, and thank those of you who have been reading, commenting and contributing to this carnvial, I’m having a party!

I’ve got some great surprises planned for next month, including some great prizes for readers and contributors!

So be sure to tune in to Evolving Times for more information on the Law of Attraction Carnival Anniversary Celebration.

If you are not already receiving ET updates automatically, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, or enter your email below to receive email updates.

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And if you have a Law of Attraction related product that you would like to add to the bag of goodies that will be given away during the one-year anniversary celebration, send me a note using the contact form above and let me know!

And now, onto the Carnival!

The topic of this edition is JOY. It’s been almost a year since we focused on Joy. And with summer in full swing it felt like a good time to bring it back around.

Joy is wonderful, and we all need to be reminded, from time to time, of the importance of focusing on and fully expereincing joy.

But we also need to remember that Joy is just one step on the emotional ladder and most of us won’t be able to stay on that step all of that time. And even if we could, I’m just not convinced that it would be to our benefit. After all, if we’re hanging out in one place, we’re not going anywhere!

I’ll be writing more about Joy in the future. But for now, let’s see what great insights our carnival authors have to share with us in this edition.

Featured Entries

Let’s begin with one of the most consistent and high-quality contributors to this carnival, Raymond David Salas presents The Power of Fun and Play posted at ZenChill.com Power Tools Blog. As the father of a 3 1/2 year old Attraction Master I can totally relate to the lesson from his niece after a tough softball loss: “But, didn’t you have fun playing? The only reason to play softball is to have fun, right?”

Next up is a new contributor, Dan Stone, who shares Following Your “Joydar” posted at The Shower Channel. Here’s a bit of what Dan has to say about Joy: “Joy is how you feel when you and the You you really are, are seeing from the same point of view. Joy is the homing device that tracks all that you have asked for, all that is waiting to be received by you, all that you are becoming as you become who You really are . . .”

Then there is Aldian Prakoso with Do What You Enjoy Doing posted at The Secret of Law of Attraction Accelerator. Aldian says, “Don’t know what will bring you joy? Then do what you love doing .It is the unfailing path to joy.”

And Enoch Tan presents Giving and Receiving with Joy posted at Secrets of Mind and Reality – MindReality.com. Enoch reminds us that “All giving is an expression of joy.” This is a great reminder, especially for those moments when we feel ourselves giving from a place of obligation or responsibility.

Beverly Keaton Smith presents Acts of Random Kindness posted at Embrace Your Gifts and Soar! She gives us Eight Ways To Bring ARK Into Your Life. And if you’re wondering, ARK is Acts of Random Kindness!

And finally, Pamm presents My Friend, Abraham posted at My Secret Spiritual Dance. This entry is not specifically focused on Joy. But it explores such an important aspect of the Law of Attraction – our willingness to fully experience all of our emotions -that it feels important to include it in the featured section.

That’s it for our Featured Law of Attraction Entries.

Now on to

The Best of The Rest!

Manifestation

Warren Wong presents The Life Pursuit Of Money posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “Why should making money be a life pursuit? Because making money actually helps people! Here’s why.”

Tupelo Kenyon presents Manifestation Fill-in-the-Blank Affirmation posted at Tupelo Kenyon.

Millionaire Mommy Next Door presents Create Your Treasure Map To Riches posted at Millionaire Mommy Next Door, By taking the time to establish what real wealth looks like to you, you direct your efforts in ways that will make becoming rich, in your own terms, simple.

Israel Cruz presents The Secret Summarized – Byrne: 6/17/07 – 6/24/07 posted at The Secret Summarized – Byrne.

Cade Krueger presents Law Of Attr(action) posted at Write To Right.

Art of Allowing

Tristan presents How to Replace Limiting Beliefs With Nurturing Affirmations posted at The Synergy Institute.

edithyeung presents How to Clean Out Your “Closet”, and Make Space for More Good posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act..

Deliberate Creation

Susan Velez presents Faith What Is It? posted at The Secret To Life.

Scott Allen presents John Assaraf and Murray Smith Interview posted at About Entrepreneurs, saying, “John Assaraf (one of the stars of “The Secret”) and Murray Smith (of Indian Motorcycle fame) talk with About.com Entrepreneurs Guide Scott Allen about entrepreneurial passion, success mindset, learning from failure, Law of Attraction, changing the world. Audio and full transcript both included.”

edithyeung presents Edith Yeung.com Dream Think Act » Blog Archive » I Have a Dream posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act..

Uni presents Law of Attraction-The 5 secrets of Visualization posted at You Deserve More, saying, “A great how-to about visualization!”

That’s it for this edition of the Law of Attraction Blog Carnival. You can read all the past editions on the Law of Attraction Homepage.

The next edition will be published on Tuesday, August 14th and 28th will be part of the Anniversary Celebration. The theme for August is, How Far We Have Come! Submit your best articles exploring what you have learned about the Law of Attraction in the past 12-months. Take time to think back on where you were and to give thanks for how far you have come. Share your success stories of the past year. And join in the celebration! You can submit your entries at the Law of Attraction BlogCarnival page.

And don’t forget, if you have a Law of Attraction product that you would like to donate for the party, let me know!

Living Life For The Sheer Joy Of It

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Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.

Unknown.

I left the house early this Christmas Eve morning to get a hike in before jumping into the final preparations for this evening’s gathering at our house.

There’s one section of Highway 12 on the way out of Sebastopol that reminds me of images of the African Savannah. It’s a wide-open expanse of field dotted with Oak trees and flowing gently into rolling hills in the distance. This morning there was a thin shroud of fog sitting over this landscape and the sky was filled with streaks of puffy, orange, sun streaked clouds.

I kept sneaking glances over to the right, admiring this beautiful scene as I drove, sensing that the sun was getting closer and closer to the horizon and hoping that it would make its appearance before I drove into the section of road with thicker trees that would block the view.

And just as I was thinking how much I wanted to see the sun come up over the hills in the distance, I glanced over and there it was: The brilliant, deep orange half-circle of the sun seeming to sit on top of one of these hills in the distance.

I had never seen the sun rising with such clarity and intensity. The slight fog seemed to both mellow and intensify the sun simultaneously.

This sight was so visceral and so unexpected that it broke through the defenses of my mind and entered directly into my heart. This vision opened me to the joy of being alive.

Gratitude, joy and wonder filled me and tears filled my eyes.

It seems to me that these moments of uninhibited joy are more reflective of our natural state then the vast majority of our time. This joy is normal. This joy is why we have come to this life.

We spend so much of our time “getting by,” and handling the day-to-day tasks of our life, we don’t often give ourselves the time and space to experience these moments of pure joy.

That is why when moments such as this break through the clutter of our mind and our over-filled lives, they have such power.

In that moment, when I saw the sun, sitting there on the horizon, so beautiful, so inspiring, so unique, I understood – for the first time all over again – that these are the moments we are here for. These are the moments that cause us to say, “yes” to life.

And somehow this vision, this message, this experience, this saying “yes” to life ties in to this season. Because, whether you celebrate the turning of the Earth towards the light, or the birth of a great master, or the rededication of and gratitude for the miracle of light, this time of year is a time of re-birth, of re-awakening to our reason for being here in this life.

We have passed through the darkest time, the longest night, and are now heading back into the light. What better time of year than now, right now, to reconnect to the parts of us that want to say “Yes” to life. These positive parts are always saying Yes.

And in this season of joy and peace lets all take the time to practice saying “yes” more often.

Law of Attraction Carnival #7: Gratitude

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Welcome to the Law of Attraction Carnival # 7. The topic of this edition is Gratitude.

Those of us here in the US, just celebrated our holiday of gratitude, Thanksgiving. Regardless of what you might think about the history and origin of the holiday, the intention of Giving Thanks is extremely powerful. Spending a day focused on gratitude is a wonderful way to experience the many benefits of gratitude.

When you acknowledge, experience and express gratitude for what you already have, you offer a powerfully attractive vibration to the Universe. The Universe hears gratitude as a request for more.

My three-year-old daughter has not yet fallen into the trap of separating gratitude and desire. During one leg of yesterday’s drive from Boise to Boulder, my mother, Joan, was in the back seat playing with Ella. When Joan started playing “this little piggy” with Ella, each time the little piggy went “wee wee wee” all the home, Ella would spontaneously and naturally express her gratitude and joy through giggles and squeals and without any hesitation or resistance, express her desire clearly and firmly with “more,” or “do it again.” Joan, in the role of the Universe, responding to, and experiencing the contagious joy Ella was expressing immediately gave Ella what she wanted.

It seems like a silly example, but this is how the Universe works. Ultimately our Joy is the best expression of gratitude that we have. And, just like a doting grandmother, the Universe loves to see and share in our joy and gratitude. So when we express joy and gratitude the Universe wants to give us more of what we are grateful for. We knew this as children, but unfortunately, as adults, we tend to make things more complicated than they really are.

Here is a very simple cause and effect equation for you (and me) to remember:

Feel more gratitude – manifest more to be grateful for!

It really is that simple.

So let’s begin this carnival with an entry from Christine Kane who affirms the attractive power of gratitude by reminding us that: “Gratitude says, “Yes, I love this!” And then more of this is attracted, because the this is what you’re focusing on.
Read more from Christine in this entry about Why Gratitude Makes You Happier and Wealthier.

At A Better You blog, Patricia says “Grateful people not only count and take joy in their blessings, but they influence others with words and deeds by deliberately displaying their pleasure and appreciation to those who should receive it.” Read more at How To Develop An Attitude Of Gratitude.

Certainly, one day a year is a good place to start! (Better than nothing!) But Deliberate Creators know that nurturing an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis is one of the keys to manifesting intentions. In his entry, Gratitude, Good Times, and Glory Days
at Today is That Day, Aaron Potts reminds us that: “Just “going through the motions” of Gratitude won’t get you very far. However, truly, honestly feeling Gratitude on a heartfelt level at every possible opportunity could literally save your life some day!”

And if you’re wondering how to consciously bring more gratitude into your life Kristin Kopp at Nudges From the Universe, offers a simple, but powerful technique for Using gratitude in the process of Manifesting A Day At A Time.

And Christine Kane has another entry on Gratitude Journals And Why They Work.

I’ll leave you with this incredible image from Doug Alp at My Complete Life, a great reminder of how much there is to grateful for in the world around us.

And in case you have not yet heard about the Gratitude experiment, I encourage you to take a moment to watch the video and consider joining the global experiment. You can watch the Gratitude Movie here.

Thank you – truly – for your presence here and for your desire to experience and express more gratitude.

That’s it for this edition of the Law of Attraction Carnival. If you’d like to view past editions you can find them at the Law of Attraction Carnival Homepage. That’s also where you’ll find information about upcoming editions and submission guidelines.

You’ve Seen The Free Hugs Video, Right?

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Sometimes I get so caught up in my little world of web cruising that I forget that not everyone spends as much time as I do online. Last week at my Internet Marketing for Deliberate Creators course, someone mentioned the Free Hugs video. It’s been circulating around the web for a few weeks, but less than half the class had seen it.

So just in case you have not had the chance to check it out… Here it is. Trust me, this one is definitely worth your time!

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